There are a number of situations that can cause nerves or anxiety -- such as a big academic test, work presentation, artistic performance or even a joyous occasion like a wedding. If you've ever fallen victim to feeling so overwhelmed or unsure about an event or task that it almost paralyses you, you'll be glad to know there are some simple, natural remedies and techniques available to help alleviate nervous tension.
"Take a deep breath" has become a cliché, but it does help calm nerves. One breathing technique is called "Fire Breath." It requires you to pant, first with your mouth open and then through your nose. While you might experience mild dizziness afterward, you'll generally feel like you have highly increased energy. Clinical research has shown that breathing exercises such as these can have immediate effects by altering the pH levels in the blood or lowering blood pressure.
Diet and exercise can also help long-term. A lifestyle that aids your brain in producing its own natural feel-good chemicals -- like dopamine -- will in turn help decrease feelings of tension and anxiety. Getting plenty of regular exercise such as yoga or spinning, as well as adequate fresh air and sunshine, are ways to achieve an increase in dopamine.
There are a number of supplements you can add to your diet that will help with nerves as well. Most of these herbal remedies work by supporting the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system via non-narcotic ingredients such as Black Cohosh root, Valerian root, Blue Cohosh root, Wild Yam root, Hops flower, Passion Flower herb, Scullcap herb, Chamomile flower and Wood Betony herb. Some to try include Nerve Calm Formula, St. John's Wart and Nerve Blend. Eating lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain foods like bread, cereal and pasta is also advisable. Meditation, a mental exercise which helps centre your mind, is additionally useful. Always check with a doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Some people find a relaxing bath, complete with bubbles and aromatherapy candles can calm their nerves. If you can splurge, spa massages are also a delightful way to melt away stress caused by nerves. Long walks, whether in the park, on the beach or sometimes on city streets can also help relieve common nervous tension.
Preparation makes all the difference when it comes to avoiding nerves. The more confident and equipped you are to handle any given situation, the better you'll be able handle it. Don't leave tasks such as studying for a test or writing your wedding vows until the last minute. One tip for beating nerves before a speech is to memorise the first three sentences, this way, you're off to a strong starting point, which will give you the confidence you need to speak about the subject even if you haven't committed it to memory entirely.